Are They Inventing Questions And Answers On "The Chase"?

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Bert45 | 02:06 Sun 20th Jun 2021 | Media & TV
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There have been several questions lately on "The Chase" about words for groups of animals. Words I have never heard of in 70 years. There was a 'dazzle' of zebras. You can see why it's a good word for them, but what's wrong with a herd of zebras? Then they had a 'charm' of pandas, but pandas are quite solitary. You don't get groups of them, apart from a mother and cubs. I'd heard of a 'parliament' of owls, but again, you don't get flocks of owls, they are basically solitary.
I had a list of collective nouns that were supposed to date from the 13thC, but I can't find it right now. But at the top it was suggested that the list was of doubtful authenticity.


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there was one on QI asking for a group of kittens

Jimmy Carr quipped a sack

The collective noun for a group of kittens is known as a kindle.
The OED doesn't recognise either 'dazzle' or 'charm' in the forms you've mentioned. (It does however refer to a charm of birds, especially finches).

This site agrees with a dazzle of zebras

Aunty Beeb also recognises a dazzle of zebras and even cites a source. ('The Book of Hawking, Hunting and Blasing of Arms', Juliana Berners, 1486, a.k.a 'The Book of St Albans):

I suspect that some of the other unusual terms that are occasionally heard might also be derived from the same source. However it seems that Ms Berners had a somewhat playful sense of humour, including such collective nouns as 'a disguising of tailors', 'a neverthriving of jugglers' and 'a doctrine of doctors' in her listings! So she quite possibly simply made up some of the terms which quiz shows, etc, still use today:
The markings on Zebras are know as Dazzle camouflage. In World War I the British and the US experimented with painting their ships in stripes to make them hard to pinpoint their position.
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About 10 minutes after I clicked 'Ask question' I found the sheet of paper I'd been looking for for the past half hour or so. Over 100 terms are listed, and it includes many from the same source that Buenchico refers to. The list is headed 'Terms marked † belong to 15th-century lists of 'proper terms', notably that in the 'Book of St Albans' attributed to Dame Juliana Barnes (1486). Many of these are fanciful or humorous terms which probably never had any real currency ...' The only time you are going to get a group of kittens is when they are with their mother. I'd say they were a litter of kittens. I don't mean that 'kindle' is wrong, just that it's unnecessary. Here's a good one from the list: 'A superfluity of nuns'. Still more: a glozing (=fawning) of taverners; a cowardice of curs; a malpertness (=impertinence) of pedlars. Who says you couldn't make it up? Somebody did.
On a slightly different tack I get really miffed when they ask what sort of animal is a cockapoo or a labradoodle and even worse made up names like maltipoo or schnoodle - even if I was going to go out on a wrong answer I could not let myself answer without telling him there is no such thing and they are crossbreeds.
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Here's another list of 50 collective nouns for groups of animals. Most of them I cannot believe. I can see how somebody once thought that a "prickle" of porcupines was amusing, but how did he/she get it into currency (if it used with any frequency). How many of these words are in a reputable dictionary? Are they only found on the internet, where anything can be copied and pasted enough times to make it seem true?
is this the site you wanted
Collective nouns are a great source for quiz setters and as such not to be taken too seriously.

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